Our Dental Blog

Stress and Your Smile

August 14, 2017
Man in the stress

Stress can impact anyone at anytime. Life comes in waves, as does your level of stress. There are times in your life will stressful moment after stressful moment will pop up. There are also times where life can some easy, breezy. Stress can be managed through mindfulness, yoga, or anything that personally calms your nerves. Some people are better at managing stress than others. Unmanaged stress can increase your risk for stroke, heart disease, and other health problems. Did you know that stress can negatively affect your oral health and your smile?

Grinding Your Teeth

Teeth grinding (also known as bruxism) is often caused by stress. It can also be caused by a misalignment of the jaw. In an interesting palindrome of reasoning, bruxism can also cause the jaw to be misaligned. Meaning that misalignment can be either the cause of or a symptom of teeth grinding. Throughout the day, you may notice yourself clenching the jaw. You may wake up with sore jaw, teeth, or headache. These are all things potentially caused by bruxism.

Biting Your Nails

Nail biting is a nervous habit caused by stress. Instead of their nails, some people nervously chew on pencils, pens, or ice. Chewing on hard, non-food items can put your teeth at risk for damage. Chips and cracks often happen from biting and chewing hard surfaces. Damage can also be done to your cheeks and gums.

Poor Food Choices

Stress often leads to unhealthy eating and drinking. Food and drink loaded with sugar and carbohydrates can cause tooth decay and gum disease. The bacteria in your mouth turns sugar and carbs into acid. The acid attacks the surface of your teeth and can hide along your gum line. Stress can also cause people to smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol, which are also damaging to your oral health.

Mindful Choices Can Lead to a Healthier Smile

If stress is affecting your smile, schedule a consultation by calling Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry of Kansas City, MO, at 816-427-4018.